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real of fake plants

This is a discussion on real of fake plants within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> From my post up till now, we can already see how live plants can get very complicated and its just the discussion of lights! ...

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Old 05-02-2012, 12:55 PM   #21
 
From my post up till now, we can already see how live plants can get very complicated and its just the discussion of lights!

LED's must be used carefully as most LEDs do not have good penetration power even if they have the right spectrum for plants. A fluorescent t-8 fixture is much better and bulbs can be bought at home depot for cheap.

Maintenance also depends on tank size, small tanks are far easier to maintain, but you run into height limitations on what plants you can have or they're going to require constant trimming.

On a unrelated note, that 10g sounds overstocked. Even if you have only 1 of everything, its still pushing the limits of your tank.
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:27 PM   #22
 
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Originally Posted by SinCrisis View Post
From my post up till now, we can already see how live plants can get very complicated and its just the discussion of lights!

LED's must be used carefully as most LEDs do not have good penetration power even if they have the right spectrum for plants. A fluorescent t-8 fixture is much better and bulbs can be bought at home depot for cheap.

Maintenance also depends on tank size, small tanks are far easier to maintain, but you run into height limitations on what plants you can have or they're going to require constant trimming.

On a unrelated note, that 10g sounds overstocked. Even if you have only 1 of everything, its still pushing the limits of your tank.
yeah i know it is pushing its limits I have thought about relocating the guppies to a 5 gallon tank
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Old 05-02-2012, 03:25 PM   #23
 
LEDs do not come in full spectrum, and cannot be used for live plants. I already looked into it. About the only live aquarium plant I can think of that will survive no matter what is hornwort. It also doesn't care if the water is brackish (I had it in a Molly tank before). But it's not a very attractive plant and it requires aggressive maintenance and pruning.

Yes, there are a lot of benefits of having live over plastic. But the lighting is a big expense. It was the single most expensive item I bought for my aquariums. The 30" light bar cost me $160. The bulbs are also $40 each, and although they may light up for a year, the actual full spectrum portion of the bulbs only lasts 4-6 months. So you're looking at spending $120+/year (the bars take two bulbs) just for a year. So factor in the added expense of that before you take the plunge.

Some live plants are also pricey. But totally worth it when they thrive.
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:48 PM   #24
 
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wow thanks for the info!
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:34 PM   #25
 
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Originally Posted by Stormfish View Post
LEDs do not come in full spectrum, and cannot be used for live plants. I already looked into it. About the only live aquarium plant I can think of that will survive no matter what is hornwort. It also doesn't care if the water is brackish (I had it in a Molly tank before). But it's not a very attractive plant and it requires aggressive maintenance and pruning.

Yes, there are a lot of benefits of having live over plastic. But the lighting is a big expense. It was the single most expensive item I bought for my aquariums. The 30" light bar cost me $160. The bulbs are also $40 each, and although they may light up for a year, the actual full spectrum portion of the bulbs only lasts 4-6 months. So you're looking at spending $120+/year (the bars take two bulbs) just for a year. So factor in the added expense of that before you take the plunge.

Some live plants are also pricey. But totally worth it when they thrive.
Wow er down now a bit. You don't have to have lights like that to have nice healthy growing plants. Actually without CO2 injection you would not want lights like that. I just have 2-24" T-8 lights, cost about $30 for the extra fixture and each light bulb was about 15 to 20. The bulbs will need replacing once a year. And for LEDs, it is harder to get the right set up to grow plants and most of your store bought LED fixtures aren't good enouph for plants, but you can make LEDs to grow plants.

As for a ten gallon tank, which I believe is what your talking about, if you can get a top for it that takes two screw in light bulbs you could just get a pack of 6500K CFL lights for only like 8 bucks. That set up there would work out perfect for almost any time of low to moderate lighted plants.
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:49 PM   #26
 
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This is getting way out of hand, going off in different directions. Take a step back, nags.

First, live plants are no more difficult than fish, actually much easier in my experience. But you do have to give them what they need, same as fish, in order for them to be healthy (= grow). Light is the most crucial. And LED light can work on small tanks, and a 10g is small, so I would not change this unless it becomes evident in a few weeks or months that the LED is not working. I don't have LED myself, my tanks are all fairly large, and it would cost a fortune for LED. But I have seen units over small tanks (even up to a 20 gallon) in one of my reliable local stores, and after several months the plant growth in these tanks is very good, so LED will work. Now, I don't know what LED you have, its spectrum, intensity, etc, but as you have it, try it.

Second, to the plants, don't go for difficult to cultivate plants. They will likely fail, that will be discouraging, and before long you'll give up on plants. Which would be a shame, because in my opinion any fish aquarium will be healthier for having live plants. Let nature do most of the work for you--but you have to work with nature, not against her.

We have fish and plant profiles, under the second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page. In the plant sections there are some that will be ideal in your 10g. And floating plants are essential for many reasons, not least of which is shading the tank for the fish. You mentioned your glass catfish staying hidden, that is because these fish are very skittish--please read the profile information (click the shaded name for that profile). Floating plants will help calming this fish, which as someone mentioned needs more in the group and a larger tank, but as you have them I'll not dwell on this.

A complete plant fertilizer is also good to have. Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement is the one I am presently using, and Brightwell Aquatics' FlorinMulti is also good. Make sure you get these specific products, as both manufacturers make several different products in these named lines.

Last suggesting is to have a read of the 4-part "A Basic Approach to the Natural Planted Aquarium" stickied at the head of this section. This will give you a general overview.

Byron.
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The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Byron For This Useful Post:
nags (05-03-2012), rhymon78 (05-03-2012), Termato (05-03-2012)
Old 05-02-2012, 05:54 PM   #27
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by arscott82 View Post
Wow er down now a bit. You don't have to have lights like that to have nice healthy growing plants. Actually without CO2 injection you would not want lights like that. I just have 2-24" T-8 lights, cost about $30 for the extra fixture and each light bulb was about 15 to 20. The bulbs will need replacing once a year. And for LEDs, it is harder to get the right set up to grow plants and most of your store bought LED fixtures aren't good enouph for plants, but you can make LEDs to grow plants.

As for a ten gallon tank, which I believe is what your talking about, if you can get a top for it that takes two screw in light bulbs you could just get a pack of 6500K CFL lights for only like 8 bucks. That set up there would work out perfect for almost any time of low to moderate lighted plants.
You might want to tell all my Amazon Swords, Cabomba and Japanese Grass that they need to stop growing all crazy huge and such. I've never added Co2 to a full spectrum tank, and my plants are fabulous.
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Old 05-02-2012, 10:00 PM   #28
 
I run a LED light system and my bulbs come in 6500k and my plants do great. Like Byron said, in small tanks it can work. However, finding those 6500k bulbs took me quite a while and a pretty penny (in terms of light bulb prices).
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:10 AM   #29
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
This is getting way out of hand, going off in different directions. Take a step back, nags.

First, live plants are no more difficult than fish, actually much easier in my experience. But you do have to give them what they need, same as fish, in order for them to be healthy (= grow). Light is the most crucial. And LED light can work on small tanks, and a 10g is small, so I would not change this unless it becomes evident in a few weeks or months that the LED is not working. I don't have LED myself, my tanks are all fairly large, and it would cost a fortune for LED. But I have seen units over small tanks (even up to a 20 gallon) in one of my reliable local stores, and after several months the plant growth in these tanks is very good, so LED will work. Now, I don't know what LED you have, its spectrum, intensity, etc, but as you have it, try it.

Second, to the plants, don't go for difficult to cultivate plants. They will likely fail, that will be discouraging, and before long you'll give up on plants. Which would be a shame, because in my opinion any fish aquarium will be healthier for having live plants. Let nature do most of the work for you--but you have to work with nature, not against her.

We have fish and plant profiles, under the second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page. In the plant sections there are some that will be ideal in your 10g. And floating plants are essential for many reasons, not least of which is shading the tank for the fish. You mentioned your glass catfish staying hidden, that is because these fish are very skittish--please read the profile information (click the shaded name for that profile). Floating plants will help calming this fish, which as someone mentioned needs more in the group and a larger tank, but as you have them I'll not dwell on this.

A complete plant fertilizer is also good to have. Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement is the one I am presently using, and Brightwell Aquatics' FlorinMulti is also good. Make sure you get these specific products, as both manufacturers make several different products in these named lines.

Last suggesting is to have a read of the 4-part "A Basic Approach to the Natural Planted Aquarium" stickied at the head of this section. This will give you a general overview.

Byron.
thanks, I want to get a 55 gallon tank in about 6 months and I will move my glass cats into there when I get it setup. I will also get a least 2 or 3 more. and thanks for the information on live plants
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:37 AM   #30
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Um, I think nags said each LED light is point 11 watts if I read correctly. That would mean that for his total of 24 LED's he would only have an output of 5.28 watts.
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